Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


PatrickforB's Journal
PatrickforB's Journal
December 1, 2023

Chinese prisoner's ID card apparently found in lining of Regatta coat

Source: Guardian

An ID card that appears to belong to a Chinese prisoner was found inside the lining of a coat from the British brand Regatta, raising concerns that the clothing was manufactured using prison labour. The waterproof women’s coat was bought online by a woman in Derbyshire in the Black Friday sale. When it arrived on 22 November, she could feel a hard rectangular item in the right sleeve, which restricted the movement of her elbow. After cutting into the coat to remove the item, she discovered what looked like a prison identification card, with a mugshot of a man apparently in a prisoner’s uniform in front of a height chart, and the name of the prison in China. The card was found inside a plastic holder embossed with the words: “Produced by the Ministry of Justice prisons bureau.”

It is not clear how the ID card ended up in the coat or whether it was put there deliberately. Handwritten notes from Chinese prisoners occasionally turn up in consumer products, such as in 2019, when a note written in English was found by a six-year-old girl in a Christmas card sold by Tesco. The note said “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qinqpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization.”

Last month, the French broadcaster Arte aired a documentary about a handwritten Chinese letter that was found inside a pregnancy test bought in Paris. The anonymous note said: “Dear friends, do you know that behind your peaceful life, there are Chinese prisoners,” according to the documentary.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/01/chinese-prisoners-id-card-apparently-found-regatta-coat-lining-derbyshire

Capitalism cares very little for labor. Prisoners here in the US are also 'worked' as slaves in the prison 'industry.'

This practice is odious, immoral, reprehensible.
October 23, 2023

I'm really sorry to post this here, but I'm not quite used to DU4 yet and cannot figure out how to send Earl a

DU email.

I was chosen to serve on a jury, but the page would not load. I tried repeatedly but could not get it to work. I think this is a bug in the platform.

Again, sorry. Go ahead and freeze this, but please forward onto the Admins.


October 17, 2023

Middle East War Adds to Surge in International Arms Sales

Source: New York Times

The push to supply more weapons to Israel comes as American military contractors are already struggling to keep up with demand to resupply Ukraine in its war against Russia and help other U.S. allies in Europe like Poland bolster their own defenses.

Billions of dollars in orders are pending from allies in Asia, driven by the perception of a rising threat from China.

Worldwide military spending last year — on weapons, personnel and other costs — hit $2.2 trillion, the highest level in inflation-adjusted dollars since at least the end of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which prepares an annual tally.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/17/us/politics/israel-gaza-global-arms-sales.html?unlocked_article_code=L8NEuu3EFMn2txkDBsksVXKtvdVDBOcGukQfga5I1ZVcYGb9BztPwZx19ZSa2zFSw-s7Lw6JVFWwttVj1JGxuSwXjcMLs4mhkgMG0zyQouACkjFj_bD7IPrnLN7lUrshjpBD-OV9MjU6m1cyzzZ3pOoIDY8-dWTloIhVV3_AdDK9XSlnVlSfyjSKNXI14lWopQFA4V2Oq3cVMrc2MJsQbaR_AtYpqcRiCmkHDNnGD50ysrIpUk4yCDfojHjV3IodwAXkFjEA2TevHaKdzZT_gWv8ltz5dsS30fmVEURhKEiGy0AM4g0f7eaX0h8xuGyZx1fBJ3GPmtC3KNpYBI77zWr5i74wEfAEesAN&smid=url-share

Whoops! Here comes PatrickforB again, with the same old cui bono schtick!

But you know what? Wall Street is going to do great, and so are arms manufacturers.

That is a big part of who benefits. God knows, no one else benefits from war.
October 4, 2023

How a Big Pharma Company Stalled a Potentially Lifesaving Vaccine in Pursuit of Bigger PROFITS

Source: ProPublica

Pharmaceutical giant GSK pulled back on its global public health work and leaned into serving the world’s most-profitable market, the United States, which CEO Emma Walmsley recently called its “top priority.” As the London-based company turned away from its vaccine for TB, a disease that kills 1.6 million mostly poor people each year, it went all in on a vaccine against shingles, a viral infection that comes with a painful rash. It afflicts mostly older people who, in the U.S., are largely covered by government insurance.

Importantly, the shingles vaccine shared a key ingredient with the TB shot, a component that enhanced the effectiveness of both but was in limited supply.

From a business standpoint, GSK’s decision made sense. Shingrix would become what the company calls a “crown jewel,” raking in more than $14 billion since 2018.

But the ability of a corporation to allow a potentially lifesaving vaccine to languish lays bare the distressing reality of public health vaccine creation. With limited resources, governments have long seen no other option but to team with Big Pharma to develop vaccines for global scourges. But after the governments pump taxpayer money and resources into the efforts, the companies get control of the products, locking up ownership and prioritizing their own gain.

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/how-big-pharma-company-stalled-tuberculosis-vaccine-to-pursue-bigger-profits#:~:text=With%20limited%20resources%2C%20governments%20have,and%20prioritizing%20their%20own%20gain.

Because, hey, everyone knows that PROFITS are far more important than human life!

In the meantime GSK CEO Emma Walmsley took home roughly £8.45 million in 2022 (nearly $10.3 million), up from £8.2 million the year prior. That includes a £37,000 salary boost and an added £868,000 in bonus money compared to 2021, according to a recent report - Endpoints News.

Gosh, look at that high salary! I'll just bet its hundreds of times what a GSK lab tech earns.
October 3, 2023

Well, I've just been reviewing my HEALTH CARE DEBT.

I'm feeling just tingly, warm and fuzzy all over.

It makes me want to hug an American flag...

Fuck. We're the only advanced nation in the world who doesn't offer its people UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

Oh, but wait! 'Murika ain't nebber gonna go SOSH-A-LIST! That's right, that's why 2/3 of the personal bankruptcies in this country are due to HEALTH CARE DEBT.

But hey, fucking Wall Street is doing GREAT, profits are WAY UP, and we have more billionaires than ever, ever, ever.

Doesn't all that make you feel good too?


August 25, 2023

'He's an insider': Ramaswamy's deep ties to rightwing kingpins revealed

Source: The Guardian

Vivek Ramaswamy has described himself as an “outsider”, accusing rivals for the Republican presidential nomination of being “bought and paid for” by donors and special interests.

But the 38-year-old Ohio-based venture capitalist, whose sharp-elbowed and angry display stood out in the first Republican debate this week, has his own close ties to influential figures from both sides of the political aisle.

Prominent among such connections are Peter Thiel, the co-founder of tech giants PayPal and Palantir and a rightwing megadonor, and Leonard Leo, the activist who has marshaled unprecedented sums in his push to stock federal courts with conservative judges.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/aug/25/vivek-ramaswamy-rightwing-elite-close-ties-leonard-leo-peter-thiel

So...just another shill for billionaire parasites - drill baby drill, open coal and gas all the way, blah, blah, blah. ALL ABOUT WALL STREET PROFITS.

Fucking hypocrite.
August 15, 2023

Proposed talking point in 2024 election, to be pivoted to in any debate or on any Sunday

morning show:

How can the Republican party even justify its existence when its leader has been indicted and faces 91 felony counts. Hush money to porn stars, compromising national security by hoarding top secret documents and showing them to God-knows-who, attempting to overturn legitimate election results, and then inciting an insurrection in an attempt to hold on to power after losing an election?

Let's talk about THAT, because clearly the GOP has no actual policies to help Americans or even govern the country! So...(whomever the Republican shill at the time is), why should ANYONE in this country take your party seriously when it seems to have become a criminal organization.

I'd like to see a Democrat on one of the Sunday talk shows lead with THAT.

And, if the GOP person tries to squirm out of it, pivot to:

So, your party has taken away abortion access from half the labor force, wants to build border walls when what we really need is a business-friendly immigration policy, and absolutely refused to do ANYTHING about mass shootings. You were against forgiving student loans, against the infrastructure bill and against prohibiting insurance companies from lifetime caps on medical coverage and denying people for pre-existing conditions. Tell us, what DO you stand for?

It's time to POUND on these fucks.

July 4, 2023

I want to talk a little bit about freedom here in America.

Why, here in 'Murika we be free!

Free to...what?

Be slaves to debt? You bet. Consumer debt here in 'Murika has topped $17.05 TRILLION.

Total student debt - $1.6 TRILLION
Total healthcare debt - $88 BILLION in 2022
Total credit card debt - $986 BILLION in 2022

But hey, our grandkids are FREE to get gunned down in their schools, or in malls, or in theaters, or while shopping, or while watching a parade! And right-wing nut-jobs are FREE to buy up all kinds of assault weapons. Heck yeah!

And we're FREE to pay out the nose at the grocery store for stuff in smaller packages being sold at higher prices. They are calling that GREED-flation, and that is darned right.

We're FREE to not get medical or dental care we NEED because it costs so much. And we're FREE to have crummy, rationed healthcare with financially crippling copays!

We're FREE to pay out the nose for inadequate health insurance and dental insurance is a SICK JOKE. And we're free to go bankrupt with an average of $43K in healthcare debt! Sure, Democrats are trying to remove healthcare debt from credit reports - the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a severed artery.

Sigh...so may ways to be FREE here in 'Murika...

But Wall Street is doing GREAT, and there are more billionaires here than ever before! I know that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over. That bronze bull-idol on Wall Street that has replaced God be hungry for more shareholder PROFITS. And we are free to hold those same shareholder PROFITS above human life, worker interests, consumer welfare and the earth itself.

And we individual taxpayers are FREE to pay in 84% of the federal government's total tax revenue while corporations pay only 9% but get all those tax breaks. And dirt-bags like Trump pay a few hundred in tax on millions in profits.

So, no we don't celebrate the 4th in my house because FREEDOM HAS BECOME A JOKE thanks to the Wall Street greed lizards, the billionaire parasites, the corporate takeover of the republic, the disgusting and immoral imbalance in wealth, the lucrative fear industry that has awakened racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, gun violence, white nationalism and religious intolerance...

But hey, isn't all this FREEDOM great?

May 18, 2023

Drunken driver in Colorado tries to claim his dog was driving.


Some people are just stupid. This is from an AP article dated May 15. This happened in Springfield, a tiny little town on the eastern plains about 40 miles south of Lamar. Hot, flat and lots of Trump supporters and Q people.

Here's an excerpt - I'll put the link in but it is only worth reading for a couple additional chuckles:

SPRINGFIELD, Colo. (AP) — A driver, who was pulled over for speeding, tried to switch places with his dog to avoid arrest, police in Colorado said.

An officer watched him maneuvering inside the car before he got out on the passenger side on Saturday night in Springfield, a town of about 1,300 people on the state’s Eastern Plains, police said in a Facebook post Sunday.


Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Not disclosed
Home country: USA
Current location: Not disclosed
Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 06:28 PM
Number of posts: 14,347

About PatrickforB

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»PatrickforB's Journal